RB Chris Johnson - Free Agent
|5-11, 197||Born: 9-23-1985||College: East Carolina||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2008|
2017 Week 2 vs IND (11 / 44 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Despite Kerwynn Williams getting the start, recently re-signed Chris Johnson led the team in rushes and looked to be the team's best ball carrier. Johnson has clearly lost his burst, but played most consistently between the tackles. Even with the most carries, it was clearly a committee effort as the team looks to whether the absence of David Johnson.
2017 Week 3 vs DAL (12 / 17 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson was the clear starter for Arizona against Dallas, dominating backfield snaps and touches until late in the game as Andre Ellington took over as the hurry-up mode option. Johnson rarely found a well-blocked running lane on the interior or when designed to go outside. Johnson's highlight moment came against penetration when a spin move turned a loss into a five-yard gain. With Ellington clearly the catch-up option and Kerwynn Williams seeing a single offensive snap, view Johnson as the starter heading into Week 4 against the 49ers.
2017 Week 5 vs PHI (9 / 21 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
While understanding that the ragtag offensive line does him no favors, Chris Johnson looks done. There is no room to run inside, and he rarely can get the edge anymore. Johnson's nine carries were considerably higher than anyone else, but the production was nonexistent. It is fair to say even David Johnson would have struggled running behind a line as hapless as this one, but Johnson clearly seems at the end of his rope.
2016 Week 2 vs TB (16 / 54 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson ended up leading the team in carries and rushing yards on Sunday. In part a result of an effort to involve him more in the offense, as well as the blowout affording Arians the opportunity to rest his starters, Johnson looked solid in his time. He ran hard, hit the hole with authority, and has an uncanny knack for falling forward for an extra half-yard, Chris is an ideal back to spell David and keep him fresh throughout the season. Fantasy owners shouldn't expect too many more vulture touchdowns for Chris, nor many more games in which he leads the team in carries, but he is excellent in his complimentary role in this offense and could easily be a justifiable fantasy starter in the event of an injury to David Johnson.
2016 Week 3 vs BUF (2 / 5 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Chris did not see the field until midway through the 3rd quarter, registering back-to-back runs for his only contribution to the game. It is nothing Johnson himself has done, the playtime distribution has done him no favors, and the offensive output this season has not been at the level the team expected. At this point, as much as the coaches continue to vow to find ways to get Chris involved, he is nothing more than a fantasy handcuff at this point.
2016 Week 4 vs LA (6 / 34 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Chris left the game with what is being described as a groin injury and did not return. His carries have been rare this season, and the injury holds far more significance for the team than fantasy owners hoping to benefit from a handcuff pick. While the carries have not been there for Johnson this season, he has done a good job spelling David when asked, and losing him for an extended period would be a blow.
2015 Week 1 vs NO (10 / 37 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Johnson looked quick and proficient in his limited duty on Sunday, spelling Ellington initially before finishing the game as the lead back once Ellington got hurt. He may no longer be the 4.2-40 back he was at the onset of his career, but in this role and with an improving offensive line, he is more than capable of giving this team the running threat it needs going forward in Ellington's absence.
2015 Week 2 vs CHI (20 / 72 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Nothing about Johnson's performance was particularly flashy, but he provided a consistency in the run game that complimented the success of the passing game perfectly. While his longest run of the day was only an 8-yard gain, he was only tackled-for-a-loss once on Sunday. Combined with the explosive plays from David Johnson, the Cardinals eclipsed 100 rushing yards again and appear to be a significantly improved from last year's makeshift group. The likely return of LG Mike Iupati next week should only continue to bolster the unit going forward. Chris must also be given credit for some gutsy pass-blocking that saw him take some hard hits but hold on long enough to allow Palmer the necessary time to make big plays.
2015 Week 3 vs SF (22 / 110 / 2 rush, 2 / 1 / 40 / 0 rec)
In the same week he turned 30 years old, Chris Johnson somehow managed to turn back the clock to 2009 for a vintage, explosive performance. Johnson eclipsed the 100-yard mark alone this week on a very respectable 5-yard/carry average, while tacking on another 40 receiving yards and two touchdowns on the day. His long of the day, a 30-yard run after a San Francisco defender jumped offside, showed the quickness and agility of the Chris Johnson we used to know, but with an added desire to finish runs with strength and force that weren't always apparent in the past. This toughness has arguably been his most impressive feature since joining the Cardinals. He is grinding out tough yards in between the tackles and his willingness as a pass-blocker has been key on many of the Cardinals biggest plays the last 2 weeks. This same San Francisco defense shutdown Adrian Peterson in week one, but yesterday Johnson simply outmatched them. Andre Ellington, who missed his second consecutive game, is expected back next week making the division of carries difficult to predict, but when given the opportunity, Johnson still appears every bit as much the feature back he once was.
2015 Week 4 vs LA (16 / 83 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson continued to look like a resurged running back, posting an impression 5.3 yards per carry against a dominant defensive line. The return of Mike Iupati at left guard brought immediate dividends with some impressive holes opened, and should only continue to aid the running game as he shakes off some of his rust. Johnson ran tough in between the tackles and looked explosive when getting to the second-level, but the Cardinals inability to run laterally haunted them all game, but no more so than their first red-zone trip. After a pass interference call brought them to the 1-yard line, Johnson ran outside left on consecutive plays, losing a yard each time. A dropped pass by an open receiver on third down forced the Cardinals to settle for one of their many field goals on the afternoon.
2015 Week 5 vs DET (11 / 103 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson's renaissance in Arizona continues, with another 100+ yard performance on Sunday. While there was plenty of glory and adulation to spread around to all three Arizona running backs, Johnson was the true workhouse of the three and, frankly, the catalyst to Arizona's offensive success after some 1st quarter struggles. Once Johnson got going, the entire offense opened up for Palmer. Johnson's highlight play of the game came just two plays after Palmer's bomb to Brown. From the Lions' 42-yard line, The Cardinals lined up in a 2-WR, single back set with Fitzgerald motioned in tight to the line. Johnson's patience allowed him to read his blocks and bounce the play outside almost immediately. After one devastating cutback, it was off to the races with Johnson finally getting pushed out of bounds at the 2-yard line. From a fantasy perspective, it will be difficult to determine who is the best option each week. Ellington looked explosive in his own right returning from a knee injury, and David Johnson appears to be the touchdown vulture of the team. Johnson though will remain the starter, and the workhorse-back so to speak, and unless his play drastically drops off, it's hard to imagine Johnson not leading the team in carries each week going forward.
2015 Week 6 vs PIT (14 / 40 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Johnson never really managed to get into the flow of Sunday's game, which saw him start the game on the sideline for the first two plays, with Andre Ellington in instead. The game's third play was Johnson's first, and a miscommunication error with Palmer promptly led to a fumble the team managed to recover. From there, poor run blocking and a lack of run-calls ultimately doomed Johnson's afternoon. Despite the unusual start, Johnson still very much remains the lead back for this team, carrying the ball on almost 80% of the team's run plays. He even got a goal-line carry, which if that continues would be a major boost to his fantasy value.
2015 Week 7 vs BAL (18 / 122 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Despite being out of football through the first week of the season, Chris Johnson is now the second leading rusher while boasting more yards after contact than anyone else in the NFL. 88 of Johnson's 122 yards came on two runs alone, so there were some struggles when trying to establish a more consistent running attack, but big plays in the run game was something this team sorely lacked last season, and Johnson has continued to provide those in spades. Johnson's longest run of the game displayed his intelligence on the field, realizing the officials never ruled his progress stopped after seemingly being tackled, but it was his touchdown run that displayed the talent many thought Johnson had long ago lost. From the Ravens' 26-yard line, Johnson took a handoff designed to go behind the right guard, only to break three tackles while cutting back across the field in route to the left pylon. Much of the speculation with Johnson regarded whether he had lost his top-end speed, but the biggest surprise for the Cardinals has been the powerful running he has displayed all season. Credit to Michael Floyd for a great block that allowed Johnson to score.
2015 Week 8 vs CLE (30 / 109 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Facing the 32nd-ranked rush defense, Chris Johnson did not have the gangbusters day many (especially his fantasy-owners,) were hoping for, but still managed to eclipse the 100-yard mark while providing an important balance to Palmer's aerial attack. Despite fumbling twice (with a failed block partially responsible for the second,) Arians never waivered from his lead-back, feeding Johnson 30 times, including a goal line carry he scored on only that was called back on penalty. This trend may be what is most interesting for fantasy owners, as Johnson's goal line carries have steadily increased the last few weeks, with early season touchdown-vulture David Johnson seeing the field less.
2015 Week 10 vs SEA (25 / 58 / 0 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Johnson never managed to get going Sunday night against a strong defensive front, failing to reach 60-yards on the evening and averaging a paltry 2.3 yards per carry. The offensive line bears some blame for generating few holes for Johnson to exploit-especially after the scary injury to LG Mike Iupati, who thankfully is sore but OK- but all too often Johnson was guilty of running laterally, trying to break runs to the outside that are so difficult against Seattle's speed. The Cardinals stuck with the run all evening however, with Johnson still getting 25 carries on the night, knowing the importance of at least the perception of balance against such a talented defense. Despite the poor running effort, Johnson does deserve mention for his continually stout pass blocking, despite his stature.
2015 Week 11 vs CIN (18 / 63 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
Johnson had difficult game, facing another stout defensive-front but still managed to provide a level of balance necessary for Palmer and the offense to remain effective. It is a low bar to clear to be sure, but it is an important one for this offense. Johnson was often bottled up quickly, but unlike last week in Seattle did not try and bounce every run outside, and instead consistently grinded out anything he could get between the tackles. On the few runs Johnson was able to break into the second level, shoestring tackles prevented truly big plays. Even still, during the 3rd quarter as the Cardinals found their rhythm, Johnson continually kept the ball moving. It has been a few weeks since Johnson has sniffed the 100-yard mark, and the rushing title seems well beyond his grasp at this point, but Johnson is still an important cog in keeping this offense humming.
2015 Week 12 vs SF (12 / 17 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Johnson left the game after the first play of the second-half with an undisclosed injury to his knee. Johnson was able to walk off the field and into the locker-room on his own power, so there is tempered optimism that it is nothing too significant, but it is a concern nonetheless for a team that has struggled to run the ball consistently the last three weeks. Before his injury, Johnson had 12 carries for just 17 yards. Credit to the 9ers defensive line for outplaying the Cardinals in the trenches all afternoon, but Johnson of late has often appeared to bounce too many runs wide in an effort to break a big play. Part of his early season success was his willingness to run between the tackles for reasonable gains, and assuming healthy, must get back to that style soon.
2014 Week 1 vs OAK (13 / 68 / 0 rush, 5 / 5 / 23 / 1 rec)
Chris Johnson, who started and played the majority of the snaps at running back, turned in a very workman-like effort against Oakland's improved defense. Johnson's excellent vision was on full-display early on. Johnson would notice open running lanes, quickly cut back, and accelerate for first downs. Johnson's scored New York's first touchdown on a short shuttle pass from Geno Smith. Johnson used his agility to avoid defenders and scamper into the end zone. New York split Johnson out wide on a few occasions in an effort to get him into space. Johnson caught all five of his targets and adds an explosive weapon to New York's offense.
2014 Week 2 vs GB (12 / 21 / 0 rush, 3 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
Simply put, Chris Johnson's effort was terrible. Unlike last week when he ran with purpose, Johnson looked completely uninterested. Johnson's feet were slow and he was routinely taken down by the first tackler. After watching Marshawn Lynch gash Green Bay's defense in Week 1, Johnson's performance looks even worse. Third running back, Bilal Powell ran with more purpose and played more frequently during the second half.
2014 Week 3 vs CHI (10 / 34 / 0 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
For the second straight week, Chris Johnson turned in a lack luster effort. Johnson was targeted on Smith's first interception, but a poorly thrown pass and a lackluster effort from Johnson resulted in a defensive touchdown for Chicago. After this miscue, Ivory was featured during the next few series. When he did play, Johnson was routinely corralled after minimal gains and failed to generate any yards after contact. New York did not do enough to give Johnson's opportunities in space, but his overall effort was once again poor, and therefore, did not lead to additional opportunities.
2014 Week 4 vs DET (6 / 44 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson came off the bench and only garnered eight total touches, which is a season low. After weeks of lackluster performances, New York opted to give Ivory a start and he did not disappoint. Ivory out-rushed Johnson 79-4 during the first half. In the fourth quarter, Johnson had arguably his best run of the season. On a 2nd-and-5 play from Detroit's 35-yard line, Johnson ran off left tackle and appeared to be corralled for a short gain. Johnson, however, kept driving his legs, and accelerated untouched into the open field for an easy touchdown. This scoring play reduced the deficit to 24-17, but the play occurred too late in the fourth quarter.
2014 Week 5 vs SD (7 / 24 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -2 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson continues to play poorly. Johnson was routinely corralled by the first tackler and lost his first fumble of the season. Early in the second quarter, after New York's defense forced an interception, Johnson took a carry off right tackle and fumbled the ball back to San Diego. Johnson's ball security was poor as he held the ball high and loose. The ball was easily stripped away.
2014 Week 6 vs DEN (3 / 9 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 2 / 0 rec)
For the fifth straight week, Johnson's effort was poor. His offensive line also played poorly, but Johnson was routinely brought down on first contact for minimal gains. Judging from his body language, Johnson mentally checks out once his team is facing a big deficit. That has been a reoccurring theme for his team.
2014 Week 7 vs NE (13 / 61 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 19 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson ran as New York's second running back, but received plenty of touches. Unlike the last few weeks, Johnson appeared to be motivated and ran decisively. Johnson had a long-run of 15 yards, but was patient on each of his runs as he allowed his offensive line to set-up their blocks before accelerating through open creases. Game flow clearly indicates how effective Johnson will be. In this pivotal, closely contested AFC East match-up, Johnson was motivated, ran with purpose and displayed some of his signature slashing running style. Johnson also contributed in the passing game for the first time in weeks. During New York's final drive, Johnson caught two passes for 19 yards and earned one first down.
2014 Week 8 vs BUF (3 / 7 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
After a spirited effort last week against New England, Johnson was a no-show against Buffalo. Once again, Johnson looked completely disinterested in helping mout a comeback. Johnson went down after first contact and did not try to gain extra yards on his screen passes. Ivory led the backfield in snaps and Johnson played sparingly during the second half.
2014 Week 9 vs KC (11 / 69 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 32 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson voiced his displeasure about his role during the week. New York opted to start Chris Ivory, but fed Johnson early during the second quarter. Johnson turned eight touches in 48 yards on New York's 15-play, 81-yard drive that culminated in a three-yard touchdown grab by Eric Decker. Johnson was featured as both a runner and a receiver as he demonstrated patience, letting his blockers set-up before accelerating through open lanes. Johnson had a long run of 21 yards where he was sprung by Nick Mangold's block. Despite his success, Johnson only received five additional touches as New York's comeback effort fell flat. Johnson was clearly motivated with Vick under center.
2014 Week 10 vs PIT (7 / 23 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 12 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson started, but New York jumped out a 21-point lead during the first quarter, making this more of a Chris Ivory game. Six of Johnson's seven carries occurred during the first half as he helped move the chains and set-up plays for his teammates. Johnson failed to make any big plays as he failed to get into a rhythm. New York opted to rotate its running backs throughout the first half, which did not allow of the running backs to find their rhythm.
2014 Week 12 vs BUF (7 / 40 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)
Given the lopsided nature of this game, game flow did not favor any of New York's running backs. Johnson caught a few check down passes during garbage time and had a long run of 15 yards right before halftime. With just 26 seconds remaining in the first half, Johnson ran up the middle for 15 yards. Buffalo was in deep zone coverage, so Johnson had bigger lanes to run through.
2014 Week 13 vs MIA (17 / 105 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
New York employed a heavy rushing attack and Chris Johnson was the main beneficiary. For the first time in weeks, Johnson looked explosive as New York called plays that got Johnson into open space. Johnson was finally allowed to attack the perimeter instead of taking minimal gains on carries between the tackles. Johnson had a long run of 47 yards where he made a beautiful cutback off left tackle and accelerated into the open field. Still, Chris Johnson split carries with Chris Ivory, so it ultimately ate into both players' final stat lines.
2014 Week 14 vs MIN (16 / 53 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory each received 16 carries as New York remained committed to running the ball and controlling the clock. Johnson, however, did not appear as explosive as he did against Miami. Johnson was routinely corralled by the first tackler and did not appear as shift as he was last week. Johnson did not offer much as a pass catcher, either. Johnson has been Jekyll and Hyde for the majority of this season and he'll have an opportunity to face his former team mates next weekend.
2014 Week 15 vs TEN (10 / 55 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Many expected a big effort from Chris Johnson in his return to Tennessee. The vaunted 'revenge game' narrative definitely came into play after Tennessee jettisoned Johnson. Johnson, however, was relatively quiet in this game. Johnson ripped off a late 37-yard run in the Wildcat formation that set-up Chris Ivory's game-winning touchdown, but was relatively ineffective for long stretches of this game. Tennessee opted to load the box and force Smith to beat them through the air. Tennessee played strict man coverage during the second half and put its safeties in the box. Johnson had a tough time generating yardage against 8-man, 9-man boxes.
2014 Week 16 vs NE (10 / 30 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson was a complete non-factor as a runner and receiver as New England sold out to seal the edges and force Johnson inside. Johnson had a long run of 16-yards when he cutback into a massive hole and accelerated into the open field for a 16-yard gain. Outside of this run, Johnson was a complete afterthought.
2014 Week 17 vs MIA (10 / 20 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / -3 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson was completely shut down by Miami's stout run defense as New York opted to exploit Miami's vulnerable secondary. Chris Ivory led New York's running back by committee during 2014 and Johnson proved to more 'bust' than 'boom' as the season progressed.
2013 Week 1 vs PIT (25 / 70 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Johnson wasn't the bell-cow that he was expected to be coming into this game. The Titans opened the game by throwing the ball and only gave him two carries on the opening drive. Those two carries were limited to short gains. He did find some space in the second quarter, but never escaped for a big play as the Steelers did very well to contain him and take away any gaps. Johnson was more heavily involved to start the second half, but there was much of the same as the Steelers continued to swarm to the football. Johnson's longest run of the day went for 11 yards and didn't come until the fourth quarter.
2013 Week 2 vs HOU (25 / 96 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
The Titans used Johnson as a decoy early on against the Steelers in Week 1. That worked to great effect because the Steelers overcommitted to stopping Johnson. Against the Texans, the Titans immediately featured Johnson and he immediately made plays. Johnson had nine touches in the first quarter, eight of which were carries. His first carry was his longest, as good blocking sent Johnson into the second level before he used his blocking downfield well for a first down gain. The Titans' offensive line was performing well early on, as a trap play sent Johnson free into the secondary again for a first down and gain of 12 yards. Johnson finished the game with 25 carries and even though he wasn't consistently gaining four and five yards with every touch, he and his offensive line combined for enough relatively big plays to get him to 96 yards. Johnson didn't look like the 2,000 yard rusher from seasons past, but he did well against what should be a strong run defense.
2013 Week 3 vs SD (19 / 90 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
It sounds kind of crazy, but Chris Johnson appears to have become a very efficient runner and team player. His most notable play of the first half was a block on linebacker Reggie Walker that allowed Jake Locker to run into the endzone, while the Titans built their offense on Locker throwing instead of Johnson running. Despite that, Johnson was always on the field and made the most out of the opportunities presented to him. He's not getting massive gains with every other touch like he did a few years ago, but he's making quick, smart decisions and ran hard against a front seven that was playing well on the day.
2013 Week 4 vs NYJ (15 / 21 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 10 / 0 rec)
Johnson started the game with two runs for 14 yards, but finished with just 21 yards on 15 attempts. Of Johnson's 15 carries, seven went for no gain or a loss. That speaks to how well the Jets front played. The linebackers were consistently flowing to the football and the defensive line was aggressively pushing the offensive line backwards. Often when Johnson got the ball, he had nowhere to go.
2013 Week 5 vs KC (10 / 17 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 63 / 1 rec)
Without a legitimate passing threat, the Chiefs were able to crowd Johnson every time he got the ball in the first half. There was never anywhere to run in the first half and he conceded carries to Jackie Battle after Battle broke off a big run. Johnson dropped a check down in the first half also, but more than made up for it when he caught a shovel pass out of the backfield and ran it in for a 49 yard touchdown in the third quarter. Johnson didn't break any tackles, but he showed outstanding vision to use his blockers. The Titans barely ran the ball in the second half, so Johnson's only real impact came as a receiver out of the backfield. He was contained for the most part.
2013 Week 6 vs SEA (12 / 33 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the focus of the running game against the Seahawks. He ran within the offense and made the correct reads against a tough defense. His offensive line didn't give him great holes to run through, but as he continues to do, he couldn't turn good plays into great ones by taking advantage of small spaces with his speed. Johnson is what he is at this stage, he's unlikely to ever return to the star back he was in the past.
2013 Week 7 vs SF (9 / 39 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 71 / 1 rec)
Chris Johnson ran very well in this game, but he only had nine carries because the Titans fell behind by so much in the first half. Johnson was again playing within the offense, but he was finishing runs stronger than he had in previous weeks. His big play as a receiver in the fourth quarter that went for a touchdown could be a sign of things to come over the coming weeks.
2013 Week 9 vs STL (23 / 150 / 2 rush, 4 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)
Johnson's first run saw him clean into the secondary for a 23-yard-gain. He didn't have another big run until he scored his first rushing touchdown of the season from 14 yards out in the third quarter. Johnson hesitated a little before escaping outside right tackle and breaking a tackle to cross the goal line. Johnson broke free again early in the fourth quarter, when he cut back across the field for a 24 yard gain. Johnson used his speed to go right by Cortland Finnegan. After a fumble deep in St. Louis territory, late in the fourth quarter, Johnson again showed off his excellent vision and patience to go untouched into the endzone from 19 yards out.
2013 Week 10 vs JAX (12 / 30 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 43 / 0 rec)
With his first carry of the game, Johnson fumbled. Paul Posluzny punched it free, but Johnson gave it up too easily. Two plays later, Johnson dropped a pass wide open in the flat. Chris Johnson stepped aside for Shonn Greene to carry the load on the nex two drives before he returned midway through the second quarter. After two good runs, Johnson and Locker messed up a handoff between them for the second fumble of the game. The Jaguars recovered it. Johnson wasn't sidelined after that play and he immediately looked to make amends by breaking across the field on a screen play for a first down. Johnson will be looked down on for the two fumbles that are credited to him, but he ran very well during this game for the most part.
2013 Week 11 vs IND (17 / 86 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / -2 / 0 rec)
Johnson did all of his good work in the first half of this game. He scored two very impressive touchdowns to give the Titans a 14-0 lead, but after being the bell-cow in the first half of the game the Colts defense stiffened in the second half with the help of some play-calling and a key turnover on special teams. That prevented Johnson from going over 100 yards, but his performance should still be seen as a very promising sign after his struggles against the Jacksonville Jaguars the previous week.
2013 Week 12 vs OAK (20 / 73 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 8 / 0 rec)
Johnson didn't have much production, just 20 carries for 70 odd yards, but much of that was down to the Oakland Raiders' front seven. The Raiders swarmed to the football and got the better of the Titans offensive line throughout the game, so even when Johnson broke onto the second level he was quickly corralled by tacklers.
2013 Week 13 vs IND (18 / 69 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 32 / 1 rec)
Johnson hasn't been a reliable receiving option this season, but his ability to make plays in space after the catch during this game was invaluable. He caught a touchdown pass in the third quarter after making more than one impressive play as a receiver before that. As a runner, Johnson had little success but he was as consistent as he had been all season, showing good patience between the tackles.
2013 Week 14 vs DEN (12 / 46 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
Johnson had one carry on the opening drive before Shonn Greene came in to score a touchdown at the goal line. After Leon Washington returned a kick to the goal line to start the second drive, Johnson ran in his own score with good power between the tackles. Johnson's biggest play of the game was a reception on fourth and one in the second quarter. Play-action put him in the flat with no defender near him. He caught the ball and ran to space down the sideline. Outside of that, the Broncos were able to bottle him up for the most part when he took handoffs behind the line of scrimmage. Johnson did have two 10+ yard runs, but a costly fumble in the fourth quarter on a screen play ruined any chance he had to claim a good performance.
2013 Week 15 vs ARI (13 / 40 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 51 / 1 rec)
The Arizona Cardinals defensive front is one of the toughest to run against in the NFL. As such, the Titans came out passing the ball early on and Johnson had a few carries that were stopped at the line of scrimmage. He was able to escape onto the second level twice with good vision before he caught a touchdown pass down the sideline. Johnson simply ran away from the linebacker after Fitzpatrick held the ball in the pocket before cutting inside two defenders for a relatively easy score. Johnson ran well, but the Cardinals defense and their lead forced the Titans to go away from running the ball. He was still a valuable asset as a receiver, something that he hasn't been in every game this season.
2013 Week 16 vs JAX (22 / 90 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
As he has been throughout this season, Johnson was battling between the tackles for any yards he got. His inability to break tackles has limited his effectiveness as teams swarm to the line of scrimmage. That was the story in the first half, but Johnson was much more effective early in the third quarter with a number of good runs to the second level. Johnson's second half was much more productive than his first. His most important play came on third and five when the Titans were trying to kill the clock late on. Importantly, he kept working through contact and reached for the first down. While Johnson doesn't break many tackles with his strength, he does consistently show off the willingness to try and fight through contact.
2013 Week 17 vs HOU (27 / 127 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Johnson finished the game with 27 rushing attempts, but he wasn't featured much in the offense early on. Jackie Battle and Shonn Greene were taking snaps away from Johnson, but Johnson was much more effective than both when he got the ball. In the second quarter, he made a number of very impressive runs that forced the Titans coaching staff to raise his workload. Johnson had a good, not great season, but he definitely left a very positive taste in the Titans' collective mouth moving into the offseason.
2012 Week 1 vs NE (11 / 4 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 47 / 0 rec)
Johnson was pathetic in this game. In fairness to him, the holes weren't big, but he made no effort to "stick his head in there" and get positive yardage. Over and over again, Johnson tried cutting it back outside and the Patriots were having none of it. As such, the Titans completely abandoned the run, and CJ had his worst day as a pro. This is the type of effort that could get CJ benched in future weeks. As Ridley showed, when there isn't anything there, you get as many yards as you can get. The Titans can ill afford to give their young QB bad down/distance ratios due to the fact that their RB consistently looks for the big play. If there was a positive for CJ, it was that he had 6 receptions and actually looked pretty smooth catching the ball. This is something that has plagued him his entire career. The Titans might need to forget about CJ's 2,000 yard season, and re-think the way they use CJ, for the good of the team.
2012 Week 2 vs SD (8 / 17 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
In case anyone thought Johnson's lack of production in Week 1 was a fluke, it's now officially time to panic for Johnson owners. The offensive line didn't give him a lot of room to run, and we also can't forget that this is a San Diego defense that essentially shut down Darren McFadden a week ago. That being said, Johnson couldn't do a thing against the Chargers. The Titans tried a couple of different looks for Johnson, running up the middle and off tackle and out wide and none of it worked. The passing game is not taking any pressure off, and vice versa, and this is a Tennessee offense that doesn't seem able to get out of its own way right now.
2012 Week 3 vs DET (14 / 24 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson had another terrible day. Carrying the ball 14 times, Johnson totaled just 24 yards. This brings his season total, through 3 games, to 45 yards. The running game issues in Tennessee are multifold, but Johnson did show some abilities to get outside against the Lions when the opportunity showed. For today's running disaster, the blame fell on the offensive line. Repeatedly, Detroit defenders met Johnson in the backfield, and Johnson lost at least 6 yards on two separate occasions. Johnson's long run of the day was 11 yards and came just after halftime. Johnson had one catch for 5 yards. As well, showing his inconsistent hands, Johnson dropped a sure completion that slipped right through his hands and bouncing off his facemask. Johnson's fantasy value was virtually non-existent.
2012 Week 4 vs HOU (25 / 141 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson finally had a productive game for 2012 with a nice breakout against the Texans. Despite Houston's stout rush defense, Johnson was quick to hit the hole and showed excellent vision in the open field to pick up additional yardage once he made it through the line of scrimmage. Johnson looked more quick than fast on most of his runs but he did not dance in the backfield and seemed to trust his blockers. Two notable improvements from the first three weeks of the season were obvious. First, the Texans were not very successful in getting to the backfield on rushing plays, thus allowing Johnson a chance to run downhill before being tied up by tacklers. Second, the Titans interior line - long the subject of criticism - did a fine job against the Texans front seven in opening holes for Johnson. Outside of David Stewart's erratic play, the Tennessee line seemed much improved from the season's first three weeks. Johnson's best run came on a 19 yard rush off guard to the left. On the play, Johnson took a delayed handoff while Craig Stevens pulled from the right side to blow open a hole to the left. Johnson quickly scampered through the line and accelerated to top speed in the open field, eventually cutting back to the inside to pick up three extra yards at the end of the run. Of note, Johnson only had two carries for negative yardage among his 27 touches. He also had two targets in the passing game resulting in two receptions for 16 yards.
2012 Week 5 vs MIN (15 / 24 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
After having a stellar game last week, Johnson went back to being dreadful against the stout Minnesota rush defense. The problem came from the Vikings getting excellent pressure outside of the guards and often meeting Johnson in the backfield as soon as he had the ball. Tackle David Stewart was routinely beaten off the edge for the second week in a row resulting in Johnson being tackled for a loss five times in 15 carries. Johnson's longest run was a nine yard scamper in the second half when the Vikings were focused on stopping the pass. As has been the case in many weeks, Johnson simply does not have the quickness to the line to beat the edge rush out of the backfield. And on the occasion that he does get to the hole quickly, he is not using his power to muscle through the first point of contact for substantial gains; most of his positive carries were limited to three or fewer yards. Johnson also had only one target in the passing game, a five yard gain on a swing pass where he was met almost immediately by a Minnesota defender. Until the Titans front five figures out how to get a push at the line of scrimmage Johnson is likely to have many more frustrating weeks. The Titans continue to run plays that take too long to get Johnson the ball (draws, delayed handoffs) leading to him being stopped quickly.
2012 Week 6 vs PIT (19 / 91 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 23 / 0 rec)
Johnson's performance in this game could be a case study for exactly why reading these recaps is so important. His impressive-looking yardage total is misleading as he had multiple plays where he made the wrong decision. A couple years ago, Johnson used to see a hole, hit it, and leave the opposing defense watching him enter the endzone. Now, however, it's like he's playing with foggy glasses on. There were a number plays where he could have gained at least double the yardage that he actually gained. One in particular that jumped out was a 9-yard carry. That's a win for the offense, but after looking at the play again, it appeared that Johnson could have had at least 20 yards and perhaps even a 50+ yard touchdown. There was another play where James Harrison had fallen to the ground and was still able to tackle Johnson. Johnson could have either cut back inside (poor vision) or hit the gas and made it around Harrison on the outside (indecisiveness). His indecisive style actually led to him being removed at the goal line in favor of Jamie Harper a couple times in this game.
2012 Week 7 vs BUF (18 / 195 / 2 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson's next holdout move may be one in which he demands a trade to the AFC East, as Buffalo did a nice job playing slump buster for Johnson yet again. Running into gaping holes consistently, Johnson looked like his old self. After the passing game worked the ball down the field on the first drive into Buffalo territory, Johnson capped it off with a 16-yard TD run. Johnson took the handoff, was able to cut back and the Buffalo backside did nothing to contain him nor did the line work to get off blocks to slow him as he used his speed to ruin one tackling angle before finding the edge and winning a foot race to the pylon. Cutting back into gaping holes would be Johnson's specialty, as he would again find wide-open space on the next drive's opening play, an 83-yard TD run. Johnson started right, quickly cut back and again was met with no resistance. Able to reach full speed, the Bills' defensive backfield stood no chance as Johnson ran right past them. It is almost as if Buffalo was oblivious (somehow) to how much Johnson loves to cut away from the defense, often doing so at the expense of his blocking. Johnson still struggled at times, especially when Buffalo filled the gap and maintained backside contain. In fact, taking away runs of 83, 25 and 27 yards, Johnson averaged a much more respectable (for the Buffalo defense) 4.0 yards per carry. Perfectly exemplifying Johnson's season and a half of struggles was a carry on the Titans' 3rd drive. Deep in Buffalo territory, with a running play clearly designed to go right, Johnson tried cutting it back instead of attacking the hole in front of him. DE Chris Kelsay did a much better job with backside contain allowing LB Nick Barnett to come downhill and attack Johnson. Kelsay did a poor job making the tackle (a phrase Buffalo fans know all too well), thus allowing Johnson to dive forward for four yards. But that was best-case scenario for Johnson considering the defensive setup. There is no denying Johnson's abilities as a game breaker and when players of his caliber (and skill set) are given two-yard wide holes to run through, the back seven have little to no shot, especially if the downfield blocking is sufficient, to stop him. Buffalo's defensive line, namely Marcell Dareus, struggled mightily at times to get off blocks, allowing Johnson to get to full speed too frequently. Johnson's run of 25 yards in the 2nd quarter showed this defensive struggle perfectly. Johnson took the handoff and saw only a gaping hole in front of him. He was full speed by the time he hit the hole and didn't have to slow until trying to beat CB Justin Rogers 23 yards down the field. There have been many complaints about Johnson's wanting to cut back too much and going down too easily, both of which were still issues despite the huge game on Sunday. Of 18 carries, Johnson had seven carries that went for two yards or less. Certainly those paltry results are not entirely his fault, but Johnson's propensity to look big play on every run is still hurting the Titans' offense. Johnson did ostensibly no damage receiving the ball, catching one pass for three yards while receiving only two targets.
2012 Week 8 vs IND (21 / 99 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)
Johnson had his second straight solid week against the Colts in week 8. Johnson did not score but ran 21 times for 99 yards including two receptions on three targets for 117 total yards from scrimmage. The Titans offensive line is doing a much better job blocking for Johnson between the tackles, particularly in disguising blocking schemes with tight end Craig Stevens. Against the Colts Johnson did not appear to stutter -step behind the line of scrimmage but rather took the handoff quickly and confidently ran to the hole. Impressively, Johnson gained 99 yards despite having only three carries over 10 yards. More impressively, Johnson was not stopped for a loss all day and was only held to no-gain once all day. Whereas the start of the season saw Johnson stopped behind the line regularly, he has run for mostly positive gains for his last three games. His best run came on a nine yard gain up the middle that saw Johnson hit the hole hard and cut to the outside before the Colts linebackers could close. His speed earned him the corner and the hard fought 9 yard gain.
2012 Week 9 vs CHI (16 / 141 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 4 / 0 rec)
I don't think anyone thought Chris Johnson would run for 140 yards against the Bears. But many times, Chris Johnson showed that his speed is still there. Johnson's 80 yard TD happened when the game was well out of reach. It shows that when he gets a hole and when defenses aren't 100% zoned in on him, he still has the ability to make big plays happen. It was not all good for Johnson, however. His two fumbles happened early in the game and both damaged the Titans chances severely. That being said, if you are looking for positives, CJ's hard running and open lanes has to be at least mentioned. In the first quarter, he also had a nice first down run called back due to a penalty, and the key for him was that he didn't dance. He made his decision quickly, made his cuts quickly and got solid forward progress. But you can't turn the ball over in the NFL, and his fumbles are the stat that everyone will remember tomorrow.
2012 Week 10 vs MIA (23 / 126 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Is CJ?K finally back? His numbers over the last five weeks, including this performance against a very stout Dolphins front, suggest that we might be seeing flashes of the 2009 CJ. While he is running with a lot more conviction than he was earlier in the season, and still shows off that breakaway speed, it looks like his offensive line can take a good amount of the credit for his resurgence. Save for his touchdown run, where the play went right and nothing was there, and CJ broke back across the field to get into the endzone, he got what was blocked and rarely made anyone miss. Tight ends Taylor Thompson and Craig Stevens, as well as fullback Quinn Johnson were run blocking on a significant amount of CJ's runs, helping to open holes and push aside the seven and occasionally eight man fronts that Miami were employing to try and stop Johnson. Still, his last five weeks have seen him as one of the top rushers in the league, so as long as his offensive line continues to get the job done, there will be games like this for him.
2012 Week 12 vs JAX (21 / 80 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 29 / 0 rec)
Despite a respectable day on the ground (21 carries for 80 yards), Johnson never seemed able to get any rhythm against the Jaguars. He would follow up a nice gain with a short rush and generally was not able to help the Titans avoid many third and long situations. Johnson's best run came on a draw play off tackle to the left. Johnson took the handoff and quickly sped through the hole before cutting to the outside. He was pushed out of bounds inside the Jacksonville ten yard line. Johnson has been excellent for the better part of the last month and it seemed the Jaguars defense was intent on making sure their defense defended the space 5-10 yards past the line of scrimmage. This strategy paid off as Johnson was unable to break more than one long run and Jake Locker was unable to complete many mid-range passes to the middle of the field. Johnson also had a 14 yard reception that came on a crossing route to the middle of the field. On the play, Johnson sped to the area between the hashmarks, caught the ball, and turned upfield for a 14 yard gain deep in to Jacksonville territory. The Titans are working more draw plays in to the playbook to give the line time to create holes before Johnson has the ball. Despite the success of recent weeks, the Jaguars gap linebackers were able to get to the holes quickly on Sunday limiting Johnson's success on interior runs for the most part.
2012 Week 13 vs HOU (13 / 51 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 20 / 0 rec)
Johnson was only given 13 carries against the Texans as Tennessee fell in to an early hole and tried (unsuccessfully) to pass their way out of it. His best run came on a first down carry where he ran off guard and then cut to the outside, using his speed to win the corner on the way to a 26 yard gain before being pushed out of bounds. His other twelve carries averaged less than two yards per carry as the Texans defense wrapped him up almost immediately each time he got to the line of scrimmage. The Titans lost both offensive tackles during the contest making holes to run through scarce for their Pro Bowl running back. Johnson was also stripped by JJ Watt early in the second quarter, losing the ball deep in Houston territory. For the day, Johnson accounted for 71 total yards but was unable to score.
2012 Week 14 vs IND (19 / 44 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 15 / 0 rec)
After a month of excellent production Chris Johnson returned to early-season form with just 44 yards on 19 carries. In Johnson's defense, the Colts defenders were intent on stacking the area between the hashmarks to limit Jake Locker's ability to complete routes to the middle of the field and minimize rushing lanes for Johnson. Unfortunately, this defensive presence in the middle of the field gave Johnson a case of "happy feet" in the backfield as he looked much less decisive in taking the handoff and racing to the hole than in recent weeks. Despite the close nature of the score throughout the day, the Titans never appeared committed to running the ball. Johnson's best run came on an eight yard gain on a rush off guard in the fourth quarter. On the play, Johnson took the handoff from Jake Locker, protected the ball with two hands, and bolted through the hole that had been created. Otherwise, he lost yardage on three carries and generally had difficulty getting through the line of scrimmage with any speed or momentum.
2012 Week 15 vs NYJ (21 / 122 / 1 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
During the second quarter, Johnson displayed why he's one of the NFL's most dangerous playmakers. Buried deep in his own territory, Johnson took a simple handoff up the middle, accelerated into the open field, and ran by Yeremiah Bell for a 94-yard touchdown. Outside of this run, the Jets completely shut down Johnson. Johnson spent most of the game 'dancing' into holes rather than accelerating into them.
2012 Week 16 vs GB (11 / 28 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)
Johnson dissolved his way to twenty-eight yards on eleven carries as the Titans were forced to abandon the ground game against the Packers. While Johnson is still a capable home run hitter on any given carry, he is also quite adept at appearing to be a terrible ball carrier on any given carry as well. Johnson looked totally awful against Green Bay, falling forward on every carry and avoiding contact whenever possible. Johnson left the game in the first quarter with a leg injury after Packers linebacker Clay Matthews fell on him, but the injury did not hamper Johnson's "effectiveness" once he returned to the game. Leg injuries aside, Johnson is not the dominant halfback of years past, even though he still rips off big scoring runs from time to time. He ran tentatively behind his blockers against Green Bay, and did not even showcase enough speed - or desire - to find the edge and run downfield. His vision was almost nonexistent and he lacked even replacement-level quickness and agility while carrying the ball. In Johnson's defense, the Titans' offensive line might be the worst in the league, as he found no holes, and barely even any creases to squeeze through for positive yardage, so this criticism should be taken keeping Tennessee's problems as a whole in mind.
2012 Week 17 vs JAX (21 / 56 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)
The Titans used a number of different formations against the Jaguars including a number of two back sets. Johnson ran hard all game but showed a case of "happy feet" in the backfield on more than one occasion. As a result, most of his carries resulted in short gains even when there was a hole for him to run through. Johnson also scored a short touchdown out of a two back set. On the play, Johnson took the handoff from Jake Locker and paused to give his line a chance to open a hole. Seeing none, he cut the ball back around the right end and crossed the goalline untouched. He finished the season with 1243 yards and a respectable 4.5 YPC average to go with six rushing touchdowns. He also added 36 receptions and 232 receiving yards.
2011 Week 1 vs JAX (9 / 24 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 25 / 0 rec)
Johnson had very little room to run against a Jacksonville defense that routinely placed eight and nine men close to the line of scrimmage. Most of his runs up the middle were stopped at the line of scrimmage and most of his runs to the outside were pushed out of bounds before he could turn upfield for any noticeable gain. All told, it was a frustrating day for Johnson as a rusher. He fared somewhat better as a pass catcher out of the backfield, hauling in 6 receptions primarily on short screen passes and wheel routes. His best run came on a nine yard gain up the middle in the fourth quarter. Surprisingly, it was the first time all day wherein he had a hole at the line of scrimmage that didn't close up before he could get through it. The Titans quickly realized, however, that they were not able to run the ball with any authority and abandoned the run in favor of the pass. Johnson performed well as a blocker in the passing game, however, correctly picking up blitzers from both sides of the line.
2011 Week 2 vs BAL (24 / 53 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)
CJ was a complete non-factor in the game. Tennessee tried to get him involved, but the Ravens just gave him no running room at all. At the start of the 2nd half, they tried getting him the ball with 2 straight passes, one of which he dropped, and one of which he was immediately hit. It's very difficult to make plays when you have no open space. CJ never had any open lanes at all. The facts are that defenses are selling out to try and stop CJ. Why wouldn't they? For the past 3 years, he has really been the only threat on this offense. Matt Hasselbeck and Kenny Britt are going to quickly change that. It will be interesting to see whether defenses adjust and begin giving Britt and the passing game more focus. If so, it should create much bigger running lanes for Johnson, which should really help this offense to take off. Also, Johnson's first two opponents, the Jags and Ravens, appear to be very stout against the run. As the competition gets a bit easier, more holes should open up. While it's not yet time to panic, there is room for some concern though. It's been quite awhile since we've seen a monster game from CJ, or even a long run. It's hard to judge speed when he gets surrounded the moment he touches the ball, but this is a guy who used to have a speed that looked "other worldly". We just haven't seen that kind of speed for quite some time. Hopefully the passing game's improvement will lead to big weeks from CJ in the future, but now is the time to watch him VERY closely.
2011 Week 3 vs DEN (13 / 21 / 0 rush, 7 / 4 / 54 / 0 rec)
For the third week in a row Chris Johnson was unable to get on track out of the backfield. Despite the Titans stellar pass-blocking up front, Johnson simply isn't getting much room to run between the tackles and isn't getting to the sideline fast enough on outside runs. While defenses continue to be intent on making Tennessee win through the air, the passing game has been strong enough that Johnson shouldn't be having so much trouble getting loose on a couple of runs. His runs up the middle typically result in modest gains and for every positive yardage run to the outside, Johnson seems to have an outside run that loses yardage. Johnson was able to contribute in other ways, however. His best play came on a thirty-four yard reception that showed Johnson's concentration, agility, and speed. On the play, Johnson ran from the backfield down the sideline and easily got past the defender covering him. Matt Hasselbeck threw a high-arching ball that fell in to Johnson's grasp in advance of him sliding out of bounds. Johnson's best run came on an 8 yard gain during the Titans game-winning touchdown drive. On the play, Johnson was able to scamper through a hole and lean forward through the second level of defenders. Two plays later the Titans scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on a pass to Daniel Graham.
2011 Week 4 vs CLE (23 / 101 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
For the first time all season Chris Johnson looked like the elite running back he is supposed to be. He showed good burst not only as a runner, but also in getting to the ball when Matt Hasselbeck was handing it off. Whereas Johnson has appeared a step slow and a little indecisive at times this season, his game against the Browns showed that he is getting his legs back and getting his timing down with the offensive line. Johnson's best run came early in the contest on a 25 yard gain. On the play, he took the ball and made a cut to left to the outside that reminded of his 2008 campaign. He quickly turned upfield for a large gain before being tackled near the sideline. Otherwise, he was able to string together a number of shorter gains that kept the chains moving and, as importantly, kept the Cleveland linebackers close to the line of scrimmage. This resulted in Matt Hasselbeck being able to find receivers in single-coverage all game long, leading to an efficient offense that gained yards in large chunks. Finally, Johnson showed that he is getting back in to the swing of inflicting punishment on would-be-tacklers. For the first time this season, he was lowering his shoulder and driving in to the defense at first contact.
2011 Week 5 vs PIT (14 / 51 / 1 rush, 3 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Johnson opened the game with a 21 yard gain that most likely made Pittsburgh fans think, "here we go again." It was easily his longest carry of the day, though, and he was very often met in the backfield by a Pittsburgh defense that was obviously inspired by the mission to prove that claims of their demise were premature. The game got away from Tennessee in blowout fashion so Johnson didn't get much chance to get into a rhythm. He also was not in the team's no-huddle packages - likely an effect of his lack of preseason conditioning. Even while the team isn't running, Johnson needs to be involved receiving the ball and getting opportunities in space. It's almost as if Tennessee was saving him in the second half of this game since they were so far behind. Regardless of the reason(s) Johnson wasn't incredibly involved, it's a situation to monitor when Tennessee is behind in games and/or driving the ball at the end of either half.
2011 Week 7 vs HOU (10 / 18 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 27 / 0 rec)
The struggles of Chris Johnson continued against the Houston Texans and its hard not to feel that this is a result of his long holdout. In fairness, Johnson's woeful 1.8 yards per carry was not helped by the complete failure of the Titans' offensive line to stand up to the Texans front seven as well as the deep hole the team found itself in early on. However even in his receiving opportunities, Johnson was unable to break free for one of his trademark big plays and the Texans were able to keep him bottled up all four quarters (though on the upside, he caught every pass thrown his way). Johnson appears to lack the speed and quickness which was a hallmark of his game the last few years and teams are able to contain him more often than not. He's not cutting quickly, he seems to hesitate and he's not breaking tackles. Altogether concerning for the Titans.
2011 Week 8 vs IND (14 / 34 / 0 rush, 5 / 3 / 17 / 0 rec)
Well, owners had been really hoping like today was going to be a great opportunity for CJ2K to get his season back in order. Chris Johnson was continually bottled up behind the line of scrimmage, running with no authority and rarely making the first tackler miss resulted in an ugly 2.4 ypc clip. Johnson's production or lack there of is hard to describe it feels like a combination of tempo, trust and pure desire to succeed is missing resulting in very souring numbers. At half time Javon Ringer had out produced the super star starter 43 total yards to 18 total yards, the coaching staff noticed as well rewarding the back up with the majority carries at the end of the game. Owners now must be forced to longer believe that Johnson will work his way out of his current funk; at worst Ringer has forced his way into a role that will also affect the productivity of Johnson.
2011 Week 9 vs CIN (14 / 64 / 0 rush, 6 / 4 / 46 / 0 rec)
There was a time when 110 total yards and no touchdowns was a pretty ho-hum day for Johnson but we're well past that point now. Johnson looked explosive at times and made quick cuts on a dime. He still is not hitting the hole hard on every run, but given a little open space he is once again making people miss. He showed good explosion in getting around the corner but there were at least two runs in the game when it looked like Johnson may break it for a huge gain but did not have the top end speed (or in one case sideline balance) to finish the run like he would have in the past. Still, he was used efficiently in both the run and pass game and the only lack of opportunities in the second half hurt his stats more than his play. Johnson made one really nice catch off his shoe strings and turned several swing passes into big chunks, but he also dropped a ball right in his breadbasket when the Titans really needed it. This version of Chris Johnson was somewhere in between the incredible talent from yesteryear and the incredible flop from earlier this year.
2011 Week 10 vs CAR (27 / 130 / 1 rush, 7 / 4 / 44 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson still lacks the explosiveness that he used to have and he is not running away from defenders anymore, but he pounded the football time and time again in this game, putting the Titans offense on his back. Johnson racked up yardage little by little and began breaking some longer runs in the fourth quarter when the Panthers defense began to tire. Johnson also caught a 29-yard pass on a wheel route as the Titans used the so-called "pick play" to good effect, matching Johnson up on LB Omar Gaither. Johnson's feel for the holes in the running game seemed to improve as the game wore on, but he did miss a few reads here and there, not hitting the hole as quick as he used to. Johnson capped his best day of the season with a one yard touchdown run in the late stages of the fourth quarter, capping a good day for the Titans.
2011 Week 11 vs ATL (12 / 13 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 15 / 0 rec)
Johnson's below-average season continues. With the Titans trying to earn a quality win and move above .500 he managed to gain a mere 13 yards on 12 carries. Even worse, 11 of his carries went for less then two yards gain. While many have speculated that Johnson is not running hard or is dancing behind the line, the fact remains that he is second-guessing his blockers and being indecisive as much as anything else. Once upon a time Johnson could be counted on to hit an interior hole hard and then break outside for a large gain. Now he simply gets to the hole late and simply tries to fall forward for a modest gain. He is not driving his legs at all after first contact up the middle. On outside runs, Johnson is not making any open field moves to beat one or two defenders, instead settling for being tackled by the nearest edge defender. He did have three short receptions on screen passes but, as with his rushes, failed to make anything happen once the ball was in his hands. Johnson is playing like a shadow of the former top-tier rusher that he once was and is showing that simply being fast is not a recipe for success as an NFL running back.
2011 Week 12 vs TB (23 / 190 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
He started off great and then had to leave the game for a while as he hurt himself but was able to get treatment on the sidelines and return in the 1st half. His OL really struggles to get any push off the ball with several of them on almost every run winding up on the ground meaning they are getting blown back. Not many RBs will find success under those circumstances. He came out in the 2nd half and broke off a 25 yard gain but on the next play he coughed up the football after another 10 yard gain. Later in the 2nd half late as the Titans need a touchdown they leaned on Chris Johnson who ripped off 45 yards on 2 carries with 34 coming off a juke to the left and then flying past Bucs defenders before he finally was chased out of bounds. Johnson poured it on late and had several long runs in the game over 20 yards. He looked good and hopefully this is the kick start owners need heading into the playoffs.
2011 Week 13 vs BUF (23 / 153 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 4 / 0 rec)
In a windy day when the Titans were not having much success throwing the ball, Johnson continued his resurgence by torching the Bills on the ground. He helped stake the Titans to an early lead with 108 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 9 carries in the first half. Johnson showed off his trademark speed in the first quarter when he broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run. He followed that up with a 4-yard touchdown run on the next drive and helped put the game away with some steady running in the second half. The offensive line did a good job of opening holes and creating space for Johnson to exploit.
2011 Week 14 vs NO (11 / 23 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 43 / 0 rec)
Johnson reverted back to his earlier self against the Saints, producing a scant 23 yards on 11 carries. The Titans chose to run the ball up the middle all game and Johnson simply found no room between the tackles. His best play came on a reception early in the game. On the play, Johnson took a pass to the left side of the field and made a vintage juke move back to the inside for a 14 yard gain. As the game went on and Tennessee abandoned the run, Johnson began lining up as a receiver (primarily split to the right) and was used on screen passes, swing passes, and crossing routes. Oddly, Johnson showed plenty of speed and quickness against the Saints, he simply could not find any room to run.
2011 Week 15 vs IND (15 / 55 / 0 rush, 11 / 8 / 54 / 0 rec)
Two weeks after having played very well for the Titans, Chris Johnson had his second straight week of pedestrian play in a must-win game for Tennessee. While he was effective in the passing game and did notch over 100 total combined yards, Johnson was once again unable to create any big plays in open space. One of the Titans biggest problems with Johnson is that the lack of a solid downfield passing game reduces the impact of play-action. As a result, Johnson's runs are almost completely predictable and sniffed out long before he gets the handoff. As a receiver Johnson is still lining up split out wide as a receiver on a number of plays. On the occasion he receives a target after being split wide it is typically on a drag route or a quick hitch in an effort to gain an easy first down. As a result, Johnson isn't catching the ball on the run in open space and, as with his rushes, he is unable to use his speed and quickness to generate big plays as a receiver either.
2011 Week 16 vs JAX (15 / 56 / 0 rush, 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Johnson was, once again, pedestrian as a runner in the Titans victory against the Jaguars. Much of Johnson's struggles can be traced to an offensive line that is not opening holes but also to Johnson himself. Even though he eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season during the week 16 contest, Johnson is not hitting his holes at anything near full speed. Whether the issue is psychological or physical, Johnson's best runs in the past came when he broke through the line at top speed, giving linebackers no time to wrap him up. This season, Johnson has barely gotten through the line at all. As a result, he has only four runs of longer then 30 yards this season and none longer then 48. The game against the Jaguars represented another low point for Johnson as he was held without a reception as well despite Matt Hasselbeck throwing the ball 40 times. Johnson's best run came on a 13 yard scamped where he showed a glimpse of the speed and strength combination that made him so dangerous in 2009 and 2010. Otherwise, Johnson's game - like his season - was unremarkable in every way.
2011 Week 17 vs HOU (15 / 61 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 49 / 0 rec)
Despite another pedestrian stat line, Chris Johnson actually had a nice game against the Texans. He showed good footwork and determination in running. His struggles came almost completely as a result of having no room to run. That said, Johnson did have one carry near the end of the first half where he reversed field and jogged out of bounds instead of trying to use his speed to win the race to the edge and turn upfield. His best play of the game came on the Titans first drive on a passing play. Johnson ran a wheel route to the left side and leapt to catch a high pass. After the catch he absorbed significant punishment but came down with the ball nonetheless. Johnson did manage to cross the 1,000 rush yard threshold in the fourth quarter to finish his fourth straight campaign of gaining over 1,000 yards on the ground.
2010 Week 1 vs OAK (27 / 142 / 2 rush, 4 / 4 / 8 / 0 rec)
Johnson had a quiet start, and didn't have much to work with as Oakland did a successful job of keying on him. He seemed content to play decoy while Vince Young picked the Raiders apart, and patiently awaited his chance to break free. Johnson's burst and quickness was scary looking, even on short gains. As if in response to Javon Ringer's TD, he almost immediately broke a 76-yard TD of his own. And once he got going, he kept finding holes. Curiously, they kept him out there deep into the 4th quarter, though the Titans were up by 25 points.
2010 Week 2 vs PIT (16 / 34 / 0 rush, 6 / 5 / 19 / 0 rec)
Johnson was held in check by a Steeler defense that has only allowed three 100-yard rushing games in the last three years. Johnson had several good runs that looked like he might break them into bigger gains, but he was always chased down or tackled by the swarming Pittsburgh defense. He had a great 85 yard TD run called back late in the second quarter by a holding penalty. He was blanketed by the Steelers every time he touched the ball, and by the end of the game, he was very tired due to the pounding and the heat. He whiffed on a block that cost Vince Young his final fumble, and his contribution to the passing game was only check downs and designed screens, only one of which was effective.
2010 Week 3 vs NYG (32 / 125 / 2 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After a frustratingly poor result against the Steelers defense last week, Johnson was looking to rebound against this suspect Giants defense. Early in the game however, this game looked reminiscent of last week. Johnson on many occasions had to show much patience, slowing down to wait for his blocks and desperate to find any running room. Tennessee did not quit with the inside running game and gave him a heavy workload in the first half, 17 carries in total. Johnson was slowed by great gap control by the Giants defense and finding little to no room to rush up the middle. Despite his relatively modest frame for a running back, Johnson showed great power by scoring in the second quarter on the goal line. Despite having a bulls eye on his chest the entire game, Johnson seemed to become slowly more effective with each carry in the game. He eventually capitalised on a weary and deflated Giant defense in the fourth quarter, breaking many runs outside for good gains. Johnson was ineffective for a large part of this game, but Tennessee was able to give him so many carries as the Giants failed to score consistently.
2010 Week 4 vs DEN (19 / 53 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)
Johnson had another very slow start to the game and was unable to ever truly get into a rhythm. He was patient in his runs and always was looking for just that one hole in the defense to exploit, but it never came. He was slowed all day on the ground by good gap control by the Bronco defense and never being allowed to get to the edge and bounce runs outside. Johnson had a poor uncharacteristic fumble in which he took too many hits on a single run, with the ball in the inside arm instead of the outside arm. Johnson's lack of production throughout the day was a result of great commitment to stopping the run by the Broncos, a lack of possession of the football, and never being able to get his signature back-breaking run to save his statistics at the end of the game from a tired defense.
2010 Week 5 vs DAL (19 / 131 / 2 rush, 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 rec)
Johnson had an excellent game against Dallas in week 5. Whenever the Titans offensive line was able to create holes, Johnson was able to find them and get yards at the second level. Most impressively, Johnson only had one carry for negative yardage. His best run came on a 42 yard gain in the fourth quarter. Johnson took the ball to the left end, waited for his blockers, and then at the last moment turned up field for a large gain. Johnson's ample speed was on display and if the field had been two or three yards wider he would have likely ended up in the endzone. As it was, the Titans ended up having to punt on the drive. He scored two fourth quarter touchdowns as well, both on one yard runs off tackles. Johnson is running with the same great speed, balance, and vision that helped him lead the league in rushing in 2009.
2010 Week 6 vs JAX (26 / 111 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 20 / 0 rec)
Johnson was held in check for most of the game. He was met in the backfield on several occasions and dropped for losses, but also had a few tough runs up the middle. On the Titans second touchdown drive, he did a bunch of work to get the Titans down near the goal line and got a carry from the one yard line but was not able to get in. Johnson made some great blitz pick ups on the Titans pass plays and at times looked like he might be getting tired. He may have needed a breather, but he definitely did not tire out because he made his best runs late in the game. He was just tripped up by a foot on a nice 1st down run that looked like it could have been a big touchdown. He stayed in the game in garbage time and closed out Jacksonville with several good gainers. His touchdown came on a 4th and 5 where he made two quick cuts and went untouched for 35 yards into the end zone. If there was any merit to the reports that CJ was sore or tired going into this game, Jeff Fisher certainly had no regard for them.
2010 Week 7 vs PHI (24 / 66 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
The Philadelphia Eagles tend to rise to the occasion on defense when they face off against a top NFL runner, and this was again the case as Johnson had just 66 yards on 24 attempts. Johnson took a back seat in the fourth quarter as Kenny Britt took over the game and exploited the Eagles' secondary. Johnson was often very close to breaking a long touchdown against the Eagles but the defense made the saving tackles each time. Look for Johnson to continue to be the focal point of Tennessee's offense continuing next week in San Diego especially as defenses have to account for Britt more in the passing game.
2010 Week 8 vs SD (15 / 59 / 1 rush, 6 / 5 / 24 / 0 rec)
Facing one of the league's better run defenses, Johnson found very little running room the entire afternoon. The Chargers contained well, stuffing him at the goal line on one run and never getting to the second level of the defense. Of course, as is the case with most elite players, he took it upon himself to create production where there was none. He took a simple handoff up the right side, found a wall of defenders, and cut it back to the left. After reaching the sideline, he followed his blockers up the field, leaped over a few defenders, and waltzed his way between the remaining defenders for an incredible touchdown run. Aside from the 29-yard score, his remaining fourteen carries went for just thirty yards. Late in the fourth quarter, he was overthrown on a two point conversion attempt. And he then dropped a potential first down conversion on the game-ending fourth down pass play that would have extended the Tennessee drive.
2010 Week 10 vs MIA (17 / 117 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Johnson only received 17 carries in this game, which I feel is a much more realistic workload for CJ. Now, I will be watching the Titans closely in coming weeks, as I have a theory regarding CJ. It seems that he is slowing down JUST A LITTLE BIT. I'd love to see CJ run the 40 now, and see if he could match the time he posted at the combine. I don't think he would. CJ had two very nice runs where he found a seem and blew past the DL and linebackers. But on both plays, he was caught, despite having plenty of running room. The thing that made CJ so unbelievable in recent years was his "other-worldly" speed; the kind of speed that doesn't seem real. He hasn't shown that this year, and it seemed like he had his chances. That's something to keep an eye on in future weeks. He's very young, and I'm sure he can get that speed back, but I fear that the rough workload of 2009 and a heavy dose in early 2010 is starting to weigh on him just a bit. Still he posted a very nice game, so you shouldn't worry too much.
2010 Week 11 vs WAS (21 / 130 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)
Johnson had a very hot and cold day running the ball. For most of the day, he had to content with having a bull's eye on his back as WAS focussed on stopping him. Late in the game however, he began to make WAS pay as they played a little more relaxed. Johnson has amazing vision and patience running the ball and he was able to use these abilities to rip off huge gains up the middle and on the outside against this defense. He didn't have a lot of room to work with for most of his game, but made the most out of any space he found, including a big run to set up a late FG on a draw play up the middle.
2010 Week 12 vs HOU (7 / 5 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
Johnson had perhaps his worst game as a professional against the Texans. Since the Titans were playing a rookie quarterback, the Texans were happy to load eight and sometimes nine defenders in the box to stop Johnson. His longest run was a nine yard carry off tackle. His other 6 totaled negative 4 yards as he was constantly met in the backfield by one or more Texans defender. Johnson did manage to catch two screen passes but was, predictably, wrapped up by a linebacker before he could do much with it. More troubling was the fact that Johnson simply looked slow against Houston. He was slow to take the handoff, slow to the line, and lacked any sort of power to try and get through first contact. Johnson was not utilized near the endzone, most likely due to the fact that the even further reduced threat of a deep pass allowed the Texans to concentrate most of their efforts closer to the line of scrimmage. Johnson did leave the game after having his ankle tweaked on a tackle but the injury does not appear serious.
2010 Week 13 vs JAX (13 / 53 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)
With the Titans playing from behind early and Jacksonville pretty much owning the clock, Johnson didn't have much time to show his game this week. Early on in the game when he did he was bottled up pretty easily by the Jags defense. Things opened up a touch for him in the 2nd half after the Titans made a few plays through the air. He found some room to show his burst and managed to catch a few passes as well. In the end he was held in check to just 67 total yards. Without a passing game defenses will continue to plan to stop CJ week to week.
2010 Week 14 vs IND (22 / 111 / 1 rush, 8 / 8 / 68 / 0 rec)
Johnson used his typical patient running style to gouge the Colts all day up the middle and he was a big play waiting to happen. His slashing one cut and go style was effective against the Colts and his every unit of team blocked well for him, especially his receivers. Johnson never went down easy or without first picking up at least a few yards. Johnson broke out decent sized runs to the outside, running away from defenders to the corner and turning it up field but could never quite get the big play. Collins also called his number a lot in the passing game, simply throwing him the ball a lot and hoping something would come of it. Johnson gained a chunk of yards with every touch of the ball and the Colts could never slow him down or get to him. Johnson scored easily on a toss play, outrunning the defense to the edge on the goal line and made several men miss completely in the open field. He never got the gigantic big play, but had so many chunks of yards every time he touched the ball that nobody can be disappointed with his performance.
2010 Week 15 vs HOU (24 / 130 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Johnson had a typical day: slow start, followed by hints of explosiveness, followed by eventual big play that seemingly came from out of nowhere. Johnson showed no sign of slowing down late in the season; he his acceleration was nothing short of amazing when he has even a small amount of running room. He showed a little power as well on his touchdown run, bouncing off of a would-be tackler, and a fine burst through the hole. Johnson nearly added a second score, as he got outside for a big 42 yard gain and was close to scoring but was brought down at the 8 yard line; while Johnson took a breather, Javon Ringer scored on the next play. Johnson looked strong right up to the end of the game, as he eclipsed the 100 yard mark once again.
2010 Week 16 vs KC (14 / 58 / 0 rush, 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
At this point, Chris Johnson is the main focus of every defense. He has to be hoping he can just make it to the off-season healthy, and get a new offensive system and QB in here for 2011. Johnson usually gets met with 8 in the box on every carry. Whenever he does get a seam, he still shows that incredible speed that can allow him to take it the distance, but the Chiefs limited his damage in this game, and forced the Titans to go to the air. Also, naturally, the score put the Titans in a passing mode pretty quickly. Johnson did also have another nice 15+ yard run that was called back due to a holding penalty, but all in all, it was another disappointing day for Johnson and the Titans.
2010 Week 17 vs IND (20 / 39 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 51 / 1 rec)
The Colts were 100% focused on stopping Johnson. He simply had no room to run all day long. Defenses have sold out, and the Titans must adjust during this off-season. The Titans finally used Chris Johnson in the passing game. You have to wonder why CJ doesn't get more receptions. When defenses are loading the box, get CJ out in space! CJ had 51 yards on only 6 receptions, including a beautiful 15 yard catch and run. Tennessee has to figure out a way to lessen the number of hits CJ takes per game, and use him more like Jamaal Charles, to lengthen his career.
2009 Week 1 vs PIT (15 / 57 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 11 / 0 rec)
It was a disappointing night for Johnson, not because of any shortcoming on his part, but because of the lack of creativity in the playcalling. Even with little room to run against the Steelers stout front seven, Johnson had a decently productive night on his modest amount of carries. With superior vision, he found the cutback twice to break long gains, but was otherwise stymied by the Steelers defense as a runner. As a receiver, Johnson got one opportunity, and made good on it, eluding LaMarr Woodley in the open field for a good gain. Unfortunately, the Titans did not call more designed passes to Johnson, or he could have easily had a 100+ total yard evening. The light back also showed blocking prowess, holding up a blitzing LB to give Collins enough time to convert a key third down. Johnson yielded to LenDale White about 1/3 of the time, but he is still the clear lead back for the Titans. Johnson also got the sole red zone carry for the team, and he ran inside with the toughness of a bigger back. Check his owners for a buy low moment next week.
2009 Week 2 vs HOU (16 / 197 / 2 rush, 11 / 9 / 87 / 1 rec)
In case you missed the highlights, Chris Johnson had the best game of his career and may have sent Lendale White to the "backup" position for good. Johnson was, in a word, "spectacular" in all facets of the game. He carried 16 times for 197 yards (including touchdowns of 57 yards from the shotgun and 91 yards when backed up to the Tennessee 9) and caught 9 balls for 87 yards including a 69 yard touchdown off of a screen pass. Johnson ran wild through most every lane and showed that in a footrace with the Texans' defenders, he was not to be caught. Johnson was also very successful in pass-block situations (as he was last week), which may be yet another reason for Lendale White to stay on the bench. Johnson was tackled for a loss only twice in 25 touches. Johnson's vision has improved greatly as he is recognizing running lanes better then ever and using his ample speed to create tough angles for the defense once he hits the open field.
2009 Week 3 vs NYJ (22 / 97 / 0 rush, 4 / 1 / 8 / 0 rec)
Johnson had a great game running the ball against a very tough Jets defense. He absorbed a ton of punishment, mostly running inside, but still had his elite burst at the end of the game. When he did get outside, Johnson racked up 10-15 yard gains, but the game plan curiously did not get him the ball in space very often, only once as a receiver. He also rarely, if ever split out wide in this game. Johnson did an admirable job as a classic between the tackles RB, but he should be used more creatively than he was in this game.
2009 Week 4 vs JAX (16 / 83 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the game plan on offense early, but that game plan was using him like a conventional RB yet again, so the offense sputtered. By the time Johnson was finding room to run, the game was already lost for the Titans. He ran with the same exceptional burst, surprising toughness and good vision that we're used to, but Johnson also had a fumble that was really the finishing blow for the Titans chances in this game.
2009 Week 5 vs IND (9 / 34 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
The Colts clearly had a game plan on Sunday night to shut down the Titans most dynamic play maker and that was exactly what they carried out. Johnson was contained between the tackles all evening and never had a chance to break one lose. The leagues leading rusher heading into week 5 touched the ball just 11 times (9 carries/2 catches) and never found himself in open space. He did run hard and made a few of his brilliant cut-back moves, but he simply had no room. Johnson remains one of the league's most electric players, however until the Titans passing game opens things up a bit he may find himself slowed down in the coming weeks.
2009 Week 6 vs NE (17 / 128 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the lone bright spot in the Titans loss to the Patriots. He ran for 128 yards on 17 carries. After a slow start wherein the Titans were held to a 3-and-out on their first possession, Johnson began running wild. He gained 39 yards on his next series (including a 40 yard run reduced to 22 yards after an illegal blocking penalty). His best run came on the Titans first series of the second half; Johnson took the handoff up the middle on the right side, made a cut to the sideline and nearly outran the Patriots defense to the endzone before being forced out of bounds at the 17 after a 48 yard run. Surprisingly, Johnson had positive yardage on all but one of his carries for the day and accounted for 4 of the Titans 7 offensive first downs.
2009 Week 8 vs JAX (24 / 228 / 2 rush, 3 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
If Chris Johnson had not gotten tired, NFL records may have fallen in Week 8. Johnson was a one man wrecking crew against Jacksonville, running around and through the defense almost at will. Johnson eclipsed 200 yards rushing for the second game of this season as he used his elite speed to elude would-be tacklers on nearly every play. Johnson gave way to LenDale White whenever Johnson was tired, which appeared to be a bit more often than usual but then again 200+ yard rushing games are not the norm. Johnson had three runs of 20 or more yards, including a 52-yard dash in the third quarter and an 89-yarder to start the fourth, both of which went for touchdowns.
2009 Week 9 vs SF (25 / 135 / 2 rush, 4 / 3 / 25 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson continued his one-man offensive campaign again in Week 9, rushing hard and with amazing speed against a very good San Francisco 49er defense. Johnson topped 100 yards once again against the 49ers, becoming the first back to do so this year. He ran quickly to the edges and around the corner, using his breakaway speed to elude would-be tacklers and gaining yardage in chunks when he did get to the second level. Johnson lost an 81-yard touchdown when he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds, but he was left in at the goal line to get the score. Last season this was LenDale White's role, so if Johnson continues his Red Zone work then he becomes even more valuable.
2009 Week 10 vs BUF (26 / 132 / 2 rush, 9 / 9 / 100 / 0 rec)
What superlatives are left to describe Johnson's game? His speed created one TD that he made look very easy once he got into the open field. He ran over Bryan Scott and turned Scott into a bowling bowl that took out two other oncoming Bills defenders. He is as natural catching the ball as you would expect a former wide receiver to be, and for the second time this year, the Titans actually used him a lot in the passing game, with great results (of course). He also displayed great feel around his feet to avoid trash at the line of scrimmage and ankle tackle bids. Johnson has joined Adrian Peterson, MJD, and Steven Jackson among the elite tier of RBs that we expect great things from routinely. The Titans are going to give him a chance to break the single-season rushing record, and his fantasy owners are going to get to enjoy the ride.
2009 Week 11 vs HOU (29 / 151 / 0 rush, 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Johnson has already shown everyone that he can be a game-breaker, in this game, he proved he can be a physical workhorse that grinds down the defense and clock in a close game. The Texans game-planned well for Johnson, but the few times he eluded them - an option pitch from VY, a draw late in the first half, and a run with about seven changes of direction in the fourth quarter - Johnson was able to get big gains. Johnson had as much energy at the end of the fourth quarter as he did at the open of the game, showing tremendous stamina and durability. He gave way to LenDale White at the goal line, and wasn't involved in the passing game, but Johnson still added another chapter to the story of his rise to the top of the NFL.
2009 Week 12 vs ARI (18 / 154 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 32 / 0 rec)
What is there left to say about Chris Johnson? He ran like a league leader, always making the right adjustments and cuts at the line to get the maximum yardage against a tough Cardinals front seven. He made multiple tacklers miss in the open field on his receptions, and wove through traffic like the game was happening at a different speed for him on his carries. When Johnson broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage deep in his own end and found a crease, he was gone, outrunning the entire Cardinal defense for an 85-yard TD. He should be the #1 overall pick in all fantasy leagues next year.
2009 Week 13 vs IND (27 / 113 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 28 / 0 rec)
The first four plays went to him: 3 rushes for a first down, then on the next play, an 11-yard reception. The Colts defense was everywhere, not giving him too much room. Johnson still managed a decent average YPC, but had no big runs to speak of. A lesser runner would not have been able to turn many of his runs into positive yardage. He was so good at finding holes to run through, even though there was not much to work with. He was also used frequently as a receiver out of the backfield.
2009 Week 14 vs STL (28 / 117 / 2 rush, 4 / 3 / 69 / 1 rec)
hris Johnson has used the 2009 season to stake a personal claim on being called the "Most Exciting Player" in the league. Johnson ran wild again on Sunday with a 39 yard rushing touchdown and a 66 yard receiving touchdown. He also just missed adding a 4th touchdown as he was stopped just short of the goalline on 3rd down in the 4th quarter. Johnson's speed is leading to a lot of yards but the biggest difference between last season and this season has been his lateral quickness before he breaks through the front seven of the defense. On his most productive carries, Johnson is either outracing the defense to the outside or taking the ball up the middle, making one good cut, and then quickly barreling up-field. Furthermore, Johnson is making excellent use of his blockers downfield on screens and runs, leading to lots of extra yards and a lot less punishment. Perhaps his finest run on the day came on a 4th down quick toss by Kerry Collins to the right wherein he quickly spun back to the inside and outraced the defense for a first down.
2009 Week 15 vs MIA (29 / 104 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 55 / 0 rec)
Johnson impressed, as usual. The Dolphins did a good job containing him in the early goings, but he picked up the pace in the 2nd quarter, rattling off 3 carries of 10+ yards in a row. Johnson also had a big gain on a screen pass, adding to his all purpose yardage total. He continues to be workhorse for the Titans, with 31 touches on the day. On the downside, he did fumble once.
2009 Week 16 vs SD (21 / 142 / 1 rush, 4 / 3 / 37 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson was the only highlight for the Titans on Christmas night, rushing for over 100 yards for the 10th straight game, the third-longest streak in NFL history. Johnson added three first-half catches, all good enough for first downs, as his combined 179 yards on the night continued his assault on the record book. Johnson was able to find the end zone in the fourth quarter from 30 yards away on a play that was designed to run right but he cut it back left and ran past the defense for the score. Johnson had six carries in the fourth quarter despite the Chargers leading 42-10, so that gives a strong indication that Jeff Fisher will give Johnson every opportunity to post big numbers in Week 17 to try and break several NFL records against the Seahawks in the season finale.
2009 Week 17 vs SEA (36 / 134 / 2 rush, 6 / 3 / 20 / 0 rec)
Johnson's quest for 2,000 yards rushing started out well, with 35 and a score on the opening drive (he needed 128 in the game to pass the mark). As expected, it was not easy to get the yards, since the Seahawks knew they would be feeding him the ball often. But Johnson managed to get there, slowly but surely. When he was only a few yards from 2K, he broke a 62 yard touchdown run, only to have it called back. Johnson rushed the ball a career high 36 times and he could have seen even more: had the touchdown stood, he would have been only 55 yards from Eric Dickerson's total season record for yardage with nearly a quarter remaining. Johnson was also used often on quick dump passes, and dropped a couple that he shouldn't have had any trouble with.
2008 Week 1 vs JAX (15 / 93 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 34 / 1 rec)
Johnson was very productive in his regular season debut. He ran with power between the tackles, and took on would-be tacklers head on. He also displayed excellent acceleration through the holes and elusiveness once in the open field, as well as good route running. Johnson was asked to run a variety of routes, and the only target he did not catch was thrown too high. Johnson showed excellent hands on his touchdown catch, catching a pass that was off target, regaining his balance after securing the ball, and accelerating quickly enough into the end zone before the defense could get to him.
2008 Week 2 vs CIN (19 / 109 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 12 / 0 rec)
Johnson's day was hit or miss. Johnson, the fastest man ever timed at the NFL's scouting combine started off slowly gaining only seven yards on his first six attempts. His seventh attempt was a perfect illustration of his speed. He found an opening on a draw play. After he made a defender miss, he was off for a big 51 yard gain. Once into the second level of the defense, Johnson was able to compile nice gains, but LenDale White was more effective on runs up the middle. White and Johnson have split carries almost equally so far.
2008 Week 3 vs HOU (16 / 74 / 0 rush, 4 / 2 / 5 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson did not see much playing time in the first half as the Titans chose to use LenDale White to wear down the Texans defense. Johnson was used as a change of pace and as a receiver out of the backfield. In the second half when they were trying to run down the clock and maintain possession Johnson was the primary ball carrier as the team decided to go with the fresher back.
2008 Week 4 vs MIN (17 / 61 / 2 rush, 5 / 3 / 14 / 0 rec)
Having split carries almost evenly with running mate LenDale White in the Titans' first three games, Johnson saw his workload increase against the Vikings. Most of these additional touches came inside the ten yard line where, earlier in the season, White had been given the bulk of the carries. It's unlikely that coach Jeff Fisher was disappointed with Johnson's red-zone production as the rookie was able to score his first two rushing touchdowns of the season on runs to either side of the field -- including the late fourth quarter score that sealed up the win for the Titans. While the two scores certainly made for a successful fantasy day, Johnson's yardage statistics were unremarkable due to the Vikings' stalwart rushing defense. That being said, he was semi-regularly able to gain the corner and gash the defense for gains of six to nine yards. He also was able to use his elusiveness to avoid being dropped for a loss on all but one occasion. In the rare instances where Johnson was called upon to rush inside, he was unable to make anything happen. In the passing game, Johnson received five targets and converted on three of them, including an impressive first quarter grab at the Viking two yard line that saw him leap above the coverage and snag the ball out of the air well above his head.
2008 Week 5 vs BAL (18 / 44 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
For the first time this season, the rookie Johnson was given the chance to be the clear featured back in the Titans' rushing attack. As might be expected from a first year player facing a still imposing Ravens defense, Johnson's production was uneven. While his first rush of the day went through a gaping hole over left tackle for 13 yards, and his fifth was a burst up the middle for 11, they would be his two longest of the day. As the game wore on and the Ravens calibrated their schemes to account for his speed, Johnson's effectiveness plummeted. In the second half, Johnson gained only 12 yards on his ten carries, and his inability to gain any ground during the Titans' final series (three carries, negative two yards) gave the Ravens a chance to attempt some last minute heroics (that ultimately failed). In the passing game, Johnson was used out of the backfield on two occasions and provided a good outlet option for QB Kerry Collins.
2008 Week 7 vs KC (18 / 168 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 4 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson was amazing. He showed his burst with that NFL Combine record 40 speed. When there was a small hole he found it and blasted through. The safety was the only thing that stopped him from huge runs. And on one they couldn't catch him. On a nice off tackle play to burn the clock Johnson broke through the line for his TD. Even without that long TD he averaged six yards per carry. The big story of the day was Johnson's ability to break tackles. He broke two tackles more than once. He also made guys miss a lot with is quick moves and speed. On one play Kansas City piled up the line and Johnson just ran a half circle around it and went for another first down.
2008 Week 8 vs IND (19 / 77 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 19 / 0 rec)
Johnson was bottled up early in the first half as the Colts team speed did a good job of containing him. He got some good runs in the second quarter as the line opened some holes and the passing game made some plays to keep the Indianapolis defense honest. He had a combined 61 yards of offense in the first half. Johnson would have a quiet second half until busting off a 16 yard touchdown run off the right side late in the game. It wasn't Johnson's best game but he still put good numbers despite the fact it was clear the Colts' defense game planned to stop Johnson and the running game.
2008 Week 9 vs GB (24 / 89 / 1 rush, 8 / 6 / 72 / 0 rec)
Johnson was dangerous on the ground and as a receiver out of the backfield. He not only saw the bulk of the carries over LenDale White, but more importantly, he also saw carries inside the five, which normally go to White. His versatility and success as a pass catcher ensured that he was the focal point of the offense whether it was a running or passing play.
2008 Week 10 vs CHI (14 / 8 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)
With the Bears focusing on stopping the run all afternoon, Chris Johnson understandably struggled to find running room. It appeared he might be on track for a good day when he opened the game with a seven yard run, but as the first half concluded Johnson found himself with negative rushing yards. In the second half Johnson did manage to get himself into positive yardage, finishing the day with eight yards rushing and 15 yards receiving.
2008 Week 11 vs JAX (17 / 64 / 0 rush, 8 / 4 / 24 / 0 rec)
Johnson ran hard and while he did not have a chance to display his speed, did show very good running ability inside the tackles, using his elusiveness to gain additional yards. He took some shots in the game but bounced back up and continued playing each time he was hit hard. He was the most targeted player in the first half, but dropped two passes that could have resulted in significant gains.
2008 Week 12 vs NYJ (10 / 46 / 0 rush, 7 / 3 / 15 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the most involved Titans running back as he gained 61 total yards on 13 touches in the loss. He had no room to run in space and display the speed that makes him so dangerous, as New York clearly made shutting him down, priority number one. He provided Collins with another option in the passing game as caught three short passes for 15 yards. On Tennessee's first play from scrimmage in the second half Johnson broke off a nice 11 yard run, only to fumble and turn the ball right back over to the Jets, leading to an eight play scoring drive.
2008 Week 13 vs DET (16 / 125 / 2 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)
The rookie had two scores on his first three touches of the game. On each of his touchdown runs he went in untouched by a single Lion. The first score followed up a Detroit fumble by Shaun MacDonald and was from six yards out. The second score was a beautifully crafted third down draw play. Johnson exploded up the middle and then made a single cut to go 58 yards. The Lions had no answer for the speed of Johnson and he had many long runs on the day. He was the more effective back despite LenDale White also racking up two scores and over a 100 yards.
2008 Week 14 vs CLE (19 / 136 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 30 / 0 rec)
Johnson looked great against the Browns. He got through holes really fast and had a couple of long runs through the secondary including a 25 yard touchdown run. Johnson also caught four of the five passes thrown his way for 30 yards, making him Tennessee's leading receiver.
2008 Week 15 vs HOU (13 / 65 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)
Chris Johnson started like gangbusters, gaining 27 yards on his first two carries. The going got tough after that as the Texans began to combat the running game by sending linebackers on blitzes into the gaps and cutting off Johnson's cutback lanes. This caused Johnson to be met by tacklers close to the line of scrimmage, and he was often met by more than one tackler. The Texans were able to take away the running game with Kerry Collins being ineffective, which also served to limit his effectiveness. Johnson was able to break off a couple of longer runs during the second and third quarter as the defense was clearly in pass coverage, but the defense was able to keep him pinned along the sidelines and prevent him from cutting back into the middle of the field for extra yards.
2008 Week 16 vs PIT (16 / 69 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 1 / 0 rec)
Johnson was the featured back early in the game. He was not able to get to the outside and display his great speed that has been his trademark this season. His best run was a 21 yard scamper on a key fourth down call that got him in the end zone. Otherwise, his day was very mediocre. In a closer game, he would have likely posted slightly better numbers.
2008 Week 19 vs BAL (11 / 72 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 28 / 0 rec)
The offense flowed really well while Johnson was in the game. When he left the game in the second half with an ankle injury the offense seemed to sputter. He was an important part of the game plan as he was able to find holes off tackle and take runs to the outside. It seemed that the defense did not have an answer for his speed. His touchdown run came after they got the ball down inside the five yard line on a deep pass play. On the next play from scrimmage he took the handoff to the right side and bounced off of a tackler and hit the pylon on his way down to score the game's first touchdown. His only reception set the tone for the first half as he took a pass behind the line of scrimmage and slipped a tackle to get into the secondary for a 28 yard play. On the next series he slipped through a hole off tackle and sped for 32 yards into the secondary before being brought down. If he had cut back in the opposite direction it is possible that he would have scored his second touchdown.